If healthy players are happy players, then Pedro Martinez apparently is feeling very good this spring. Had a fun exchange with him early Saturday morning in which we started talking about how long he's been playing, which led me to ask how long he wants to play.
"I'm 36. How many years after 36 did Roger (Clemens) play?" Pedro demanded.
Well, that's difficult to say, I told him, given how Clemens keeps un-retiring. But he played until he was 41 or 42 I told Martinez, momentarily blanking that he actually was 44 during his half-season with the Yankees last summer.
"Well then, when I'm 41, 42, we'll talk," Pedro shot back. "So far, let's not talk about that. I'm only 36. I'm still a young buck. Unless (baseball) says goodbye. Tom Glavine was 41 last year when he pitched here. Do I look that old?"
Absolutely not, I told Pedro. Besides, I teased him, looking for a rise, you're prettier.
"I'm not prettier!" Pedro shrieked. "I'm handsome. Pretty is my wife."
About that time, reliever Scott Schoeneweis, who had been listening from a couple of lockers down, chimed in.
"You're a snappy dresser, though," he kidded Pedro.
-- One other exchange worth passing along: Mike Pelfrey, the 6-7 right-hander, is dressing across from newcomer Johan Santana, which is interesting in that Santana could have been Pelfrey's ticket out of town. At various times this winter, Pelfrey's name popped up in proposed packages to Minnesota for Santana.
I asked Pelfrey whether it was a restless winter for him, and he gave me the cliche ballplayers' answer that you try not to pay attention to the rumors.
"You hear stuff from friends, and whatever happens, you've got to make the most of it," Pelfrey said.
The most interesting part of the discussion, and a glimpse into how excited the Mets are to have Santana, came when Pelfrey said this about the former AL Cy Young winner: "It was a huge pickup for this team. I would have given up the whole farm system for him."
Santana's a great pitcher and all, but if Pelfrey doesn't become a general manager when his playing days are finished, you'll know why.
Likes: The father and son (who was perhaps 10) playing catch in the parking lot at Tradition Field in Port St. Lucie when I pulled in early Saturday morning. ... Chien-Ming Wang losing his arbitration case the other day and being awarded a $4 million salary instead of his requested $4.6 million. Sorry, Mr. Wang, no malice, but $4 million is still a nice raise over the $489,500 you earned last year. ... This sign on the dugout fence of one of the Mets' practice fields: "No seeds, No tobacco, No gum." Gee, no wonder they couldn't hang on and win last year if that's how they prepare for the season. ... The New York Post's Mike Vaccarro, one of the good guys in the business, is working on a follow-up to his 2006 book Emperors and Idiots, about the history of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry. His latest work is a book on the 1912 World Series between the Red Sox and the New York Giants. 1912, huh, I asked him. "My goal is to never write a book again where I have to talk to somebody," Vaccarro quipped. "You can't libel the dead."
Dislikes: The Mets' black warmup tops. Ugh. ...
Sunblock day? Most definitely. Hot sun, temperatures up to 82, 83 degrees Saturday on the eastern side of Florida. Outstanding.
Rock-n-Roll lyric of the day:
"I ain't got much sense
"But I still got my feet"
-- Bruce Springsteen, Girls in Their Summer Clothes